Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Potatoes is the perfect dinner for celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day with a classic recipe. You slow cook corned beef, potatoes, carrots, and cabbage in your crockpot to create a tender and flavorful meal. With only five ingredients, this will be in regular dinner rotation!
Crock Pot Corned Beef
Corned beef is typically eaten around the Saint Patrick’s Day holiday in the states but did you know that corned beef and cabbage isn’t really an Irish dish?
Historically, the Irish people would eat corned beef as a substitute for bacon. We have Americanized the meal and eat it around the holidays.
What is corned beef?
Corned beef is a meat that has been cured using a salt brine or mixture.
In the 1700s it was called “corned” because the salt that was used was large and resembled corn kernels!
Today, corned beef is associated with the cured brisket that we enjoy with potatoes, cabbage, and carrots.
Equipment you’ll need
- Slow Cooker – You’ll need at least a 6qt slow cooker. I’ve had this one for years & love it.
- Santoku Knife – A good kitchen knife makes life so much easier.
- Tongs – I used tongs for everything in the kitchen – they make getting the beef and veggies in & out of the slow cooker so easy.
The great thing about this easy slow cooker dinner is that you don’t need very many ingredients. In fact, you only need 5 ingredients, if you don’t count the water!
Below is an overview of the key ingredients, some helpful tips, and possible substitutions. Scroll down for the full recipe card with instructions.
- CORNED BEEF – This is a beef brisket that has been cured with a salt brine. You can find corned beef in the meat section of the grocery store around Saint Patrick’s time. If you can’t find corned beef, you can use brisket and cure it yourself (it’s not hard!).
- SEASONING PACKET – Almost all pre-packaged corned beef comes with its own seasoning packet. The packet is usually a mix of crushed bay leaves, coriander, crushed red pepper, peppercorns, anise seeds, and mustard seeds. Don’t have a seasoning packet? You can make your own homemade corned beef spices.
- POTATOES – Pick your favorite potato. I prefer to use mini yellow potatoes as they cook up well and absorb the flavor from the seasoning packet perfectly. You can easily substitute baby reds or even diced russets here.
- CARROTS – I use a bag of mini carrots but you can also peel and chop up full size carrots.
- CABBAGE – One small to medium head of cabbage.
You’ll need water as well. You can use beef broth if you prefer, or if you are feeling really Irish, you can use a stout beer, such as Guinness, like in my Guinness Beef Stew.
How to make corned beef in the slow cooker
- STEP ONE: Place the corned beef brisket in the bottom of your crock pot. Add the potatoes and carrots around the beef. It’s ok if they cover some of the meat.
- STEP TWO: Sprinkle on the seasoning packet and pour in one cup of water. You do not need to submerge your beef brisket in liquid to cook it. You can also sub beef broth or even a Guinness beer for the water.
- STEP THREE: Cover and slow cook for 8-9 hours on LOW or cook on HIGH for 5-6 hours. Low and slow is best to make a tender brisket.
- STEP FOUR: An hour before the corned beef is done cooking, add in the quartered cabbage. If you add it sooner, it will become super mushy and not pleasant to eat.
- STEP FIVE: When the corned beef is done cooking, remove the vegetables and the beef. Allow the beef to rest for 10 minutes and then slice against the grain and serve.
What size brisket do I need?
Up to a 5 pound brisket can be used with this recipe. Larger will require longer cook time. You’ll want to allow approximately 3/4 lb of beef for each person you plan to serve.
Is corned beef supposed to be pink?
Yes, pink corned beef is totally normal. The sulfates from the brine, which is usually made up of pink salt, adds color during cooking.
As long as your brisket has reached an internal temperature of 145°F and is fork tender, it is done and safe to eat.
Can you put raw potatoes in the slow cooker?
Yes, you add the potatoes and carrots to the slow cooker when they are raw. They will slow cook with the meat.
You also add the cabbage in raw but that is added in the last hour of cooking so it doesn’t overcook and get mushy.
What do I serve with corned beef & cabbage?
The great thing about this slow cooker recipe is that it’s a one pot meal! Your meat and vegetables are all cooked together.
You can add some beer bread or my great grandma’s onion dill bread to round it out.
Add a Pistachio Poke Cake for dessert – it’s slightly green and goes with the St. Patrick’s theme. Or some Irish Potato Candy!
How to store leftovers
Place any leftover corned beef and vegetables in an airtight container, such as a Tupperware or a Ziplock bag. Place the cooled leftovers in the fridge. They will keep for 3-4 days.
Can you freeze it?
You can! Follow the recipe as instructed and allow your meat and vegetables to cool completely. I do not suggest freezing the cabbage and it does not reheat well. The other vegetables are fine.
To reheat, move from the freezer to the fridge to allow it to thaw overnight then heat in the microwave (or back in the slow cooker!) and enjoy.
If you want to make corned beef on the stove top, all you have to do is place your beef brisket in a large pot. Layer in the potatoes, carrots and seasoning packet. Cover the entire brisket with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 3-4 hours, or until the meat is fork tender.
Pressure Cooker Instructions
Short on time? Follow these instructions for Instant Pot corned beef.
Need more slow cooker beef recipes? Try these:
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Slow Cooker Mississippi Roast
Slow Cooker Pot Roast
Crock Pot Brisket with BBQ Sauce
Click here for my entire collection of slow cooker recipes.
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Hilda Sterner says
Yum, thank you for including my corned beef spices recipe. 🙂
Love your recipes, thank you 😊
Melissa Williams says
Yay, you’re welcome =)
jesse ottney says
Looks like a wonderful recipe but where is the garlic ?
Melissa Williams says
An easy addition 🙂
My husband so much he asked me to marry him again. Lol! I didn’t put the seasoning packet or cabbage in but did put extra potatoes and carrots served with yeast rolls. Huge hit!
Melissa Williams says
Yay 🙂 Thanks for reporting back!